Alizée Paties (FRA) and Arthur Serrières (FRA) captured the XTERRA Germany Short Track off-road triathlon titles at Olbersdorfer See in Zittau on Friday, August 18, 2023.
The action-packed events were the eighth of 12 points-scoring races and the fourth of five XTERRA Short Track showdowns in the XTERRA World Cup. The course combined a two-lap 400-meter swim, with a four-loop 6-kilometer mountain bike, and a two-lap 2.6K trail run.
Paties won it in 35 minutes, 50 seconds, Serrières in 31:21, and both were awarded prize money and 20 points for their efforts. For Paties, the current XTERRA World Cup points leader, it’s her first Short Track win of the season and the second in her career (she won this same race last year), and for Serrières, it’s his fifth career Short Track win and he’s now won three of the four ST events this season.
In the women’s race Emma Ducreux (FRA) was first out of the water in 5:46, followed by Maria Calleja (ESP), Solenee Billouin (FRA) and Paties about 12 seconds back.
Once on the bike the rain and wind made an already technical mountain bike course even tougher for competitors. Paties and Billouin took to the front and were in a tight battle with Paties up front on the first lap until Billouin took the lead early in the second lap before crashing in the rock garden.
“The weather changed during the race and it was very challenging because it got really slippery, but I had fun. I like when we have these kinds of conditions,” said Billouin, who won the XTERRA Czech full distance and Short Track races last weekend.
“I tried to make my move on the second lap but then I crashed in the rock garden. Tried to stay in the race anyway, and I think I was seven or eight seconds back from Paties and almost kept that distance the whole race. Third race in eight days, so the body is starting to feel it.”
Paties indeed held the gap through the finish, posting the fastest bike (18:12) and run (10:16) times of the day and crossed the line 30 seconds ahead of Billouin in second place.
“I’m happy because last week was not good. I broke my bike during the Short Track race and wasn’t able to finish so I wanted to take my revenge here,” said Paties. “It was a good battle out there with Solenne, even after her crash, and I love the course here. Now it's time to recover for tomorrow.”
Marta Menditto (ITA) was solid in third place almost the whole race, with Loanne Duvoisin (SUI) finishing fourth and Helena Karásková Erbenová (CZE) in fifth.
TOP 5 ELITE WOMEN
Pl - Name, NAT (Time)
1 - Alizée Paties, FRA (35:50)
2 - Solenne Billouin, FRA (36:20)
3 - Marta Menditto, ITA (37:42)
4 - Loanne Duvoisin, SUI (38:19)
5 - Helena Karásková Erbenová, CZE (38:49)
In the men’s race Jens Roth (GER) and Michele Bonacina (ITA) were first out of the water in less than five minutes, with Jules Dumas (FRA) and Eric Lagerstrom (USA) close behind.
Once on the bike Bonacina and Lagerstrom took to the front early, then Lukáš Kočař (CZE) grabbed the lead, and by the fourth lap Jens Emil Sloth Nielsen (DEN) and Ruben Ruzafa (ESP) were setting the pace with Serrières in tow.
Sloth Nielsen, the XTERRA World Cup points leader, posted the fastest bike split of the day in 15:46, overtaking 14 riders in the process, and was first on the run but Serrières was right behind.
“It was a great race, really good mountain biking from Arthur out there. I didn’t expect he could follow me but he glued himself on to my back wheel towards the end there and he’s a really hard runner, it’s like having to race Kipchoge,” said Sloth Nielsen, who will look to pick up his first win on the World Cup tomorrow in the full-distance race. “I’m all good for tomorrow, today’s race was a good leg opener. For me, the win will come when it’ll come, and I think it’ll be an avalanche when I start winning, then it’ll come back to back and I’m ready for it.”
Today’s win, however, belonged to the fastest runner in XTERRA. Serrières strided past Sloth Nielsen towards the end of the first lap then managed the gap through the finish line and took the tape with eight seconds to spare. It’s his second Short Track win in six days, and with today’s victory he maxed out his XTERRA World Cup scoring potential in Short Track races with three wins and 60 points.
“Before these races everyone says they’ll go easy and then during the race they all go fast,” laughed Serrières. “I’m happy with the win here in the kids race, and tomorrow I’ll try to win the adults race, but it will be hard with the heat and humidity.”
Felix Forissier (FRA) came into the bike-to-run transition in fifth but posted the fastest run split of the day (8:40) to move past Kočař and Ruzafa to finish in third, with Kočař fourth and Ruzafa fifth.
“Ah the guys are strong, and my bike was just so-so today, so that’s where I lost it,” said Forissier, noting that just 26-seconds separated the top five finishers. “Happy to finish third. The run was hard, I tried to push a lot to get to the front but after the first lap I could see it was not possible, so I just had to manage the effort from there.”
TOP 5 ELITE MEN
Pl - Name, NAT (Time)
1 - Arthur Serrières, FRA (31:21)
2 - Jens Emil Sloth Nielsen, DEN (31:29)
3 - Felix Forissier, FRA (31:40)
4 - Lukáš Kočař, CZE (31:45)
5 - Ruben Ruzafa, ESP (31:47)
Tomorrow the XTERRA World Cup continues in Zittau with the XTERRA Germany full-distance race that’s worth 100 points to the victor. After that, all that remains is the XTERRA USA Championship full-distance race in Beaver Creek, Colorado on August 26, the final Short Track showdown of the season in Trentino, Italy on September 21, then the grand finale at the XTERRA World Championship on September 23.
Jens Emil Sloth Nielsen and Alizée Paties held the top spots in the rankings after today’s race, and while there was no change to the top 5 in the men’s standings, Billouin moved past Menditto by one point into third place in the women’s rankings.
To determine XTERRA World Cup Champions elites will add their best four scores from the first six full-distance races with their best three Short Track scores and whatever they get (or don’t get) at the XTERRA World Championship.
Find comprehensive coverage at xterraplanet.com/world-cup
XTERRA World Cup Standings
Top Five Women, after 8 of 12
Pl - Points - Name, NAT
1 - 446 - Alizée Paties, FRA
2 - 393 - Loanne Duvoisin, SUI
3 - 336 - Solenne Billouin, FRA
4 - 335 - Marta Menditto, ITA
5 - 277 - Sandra Mairhofer, ITA
XTERRA World Cup Standings
Top Five Men, after 8 of 12
Pl - Points - Name, NAT
1 - 384 - Jens Emil Sloth Nielsen, DEN
2 - 355 - Arthur Serrières, FRA
3 - 312 - Felix Forissier, FRA
4 - 285 - Ruben Ruzafa, ESP
5 - 266 - Sébastien Carabin, BEL
All-time XTERRA Short Track Champions
Date (Location) Men’s Winner/Women’s Winner
August 4, 2019 (Prachatice, Czech Republic) Arthur Forissier/Loanne Duvoisin
September 4, 2020 (Prachatice, Czech Republic) Arthur Serrières/Laura Philipp
October 3, 2020 (Trentino, Italy) Ruben Ruzafa/Marta Menditto
June 5, 2021 (Lake Garda, Italy) Arthur Forissier/Loanne Duvoisin
June 20, 2021 (Prachatice, Czech Republic) Arthur Forissier/Marta Menditto
August 20, 2021 (Zittau, Germany) Lukáš Kočař/Diede Diederiks
August 29, 2021 (Pujols, France) Arthur Serrières/Michelle Flipo
July 2, 2022 (Xonrupt, France) Panagiotis Bitados/Loanne Duvoisin
August 14, 2022 (Prachatice, Czech Republic) Lukáš Kočař/Sandra Mairhofer
August 19, 2022 (Zittau, Germany) Felix Forissier/Alizée Paties
October 2, 2022 (Trentino, Italy) Lukáš Kočař/Daisy Davies
2022 XTERRA Short Track Series Champions: Maxim Chane/Loanne Duvoisin
May 21, 2023 (Pelham, AL, USA) Arthur Serrières/Loanne Duvoisin
June 11, 2023 (Namur, Belgium) Arthur Forissier/Sandra Mairhofer
August 13, 2023 (Ktišský Lake, Czech) Arthur Serrières/Solenne Billouin
August 18, 2023 (Zittau, Germany) Arthur Serrières/Alizée Paties
September 21, 2023 (Trentino, Italy)
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